In the 2018 NBA draft, the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks made a trade. In that transaction, the Hawks traded away Luka Doncic in exchange for Trae Young and a future first-round pick. Because of this trade, Doncic and Young will be compared for years to come. The comparisons between the two have already begun as both have made headlines.
Rookie Comparison: Trae Young and Luka Doncic
Trae Young set the world on fire during his lone season in Oklahoma as a freshman. With the Sooners, Trae Young averaged 27 points and 8 assists per game. Due to his small stature and high volume three-point shooting, Young drew comparisons to Stephen Curry. Would he be able to live up to the hype?
In lieu of all the Curry comparisons, it was a struggle for Trae Young early on. In November, Young’s first full month in the NBA, he shot 20% from three. Which, for him, is nothing short of abysmal. It’s hard to believe that someone who drew comparisons to arguably the greatest shooter of all time would shoot that poorly from distance. Through the first 45 games of Young’s career, he shot just 40% from the field and 29% from three.
However, Trae Young has been spectacular lately. From February 22nd to March 1st, he had a five-game stretch where he averaged 35 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds while shooting 47% from the field and 49% from three! That recent stretch has Hawks fans very excited, and rightfully so.
Luka Doncic was the third player selected in the 2018 NBA draft. Before playing in the NBA, Doncic played in the EuroLeague, a professional basketball league in Europe which is widely considered the second-best basketball league in the world. In the EuroLeague, Luka won the MVP and a title despite being only 18 years old. However, many people questioned how successful he would be in the NBA because he’s not the most athletic guy along with the fact that he was a European prospect who didn’t play in the NCAA.
As a rookie this season, Luka has made his skeptics look foolish. Through 59 games, Doncic is averaging 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Those numbers for a rookie are phenomenal.
Rookie of the Year?
Both Trae Young and Luka Doncic have had their moments this season, but they both can’t be the rookie of the year. Trae Young has been phenomenal lately, but the Rookie of the Year award is based on the entire season, not just what has happened recently. Overall, Luka Doncic has been a better scorer and rebounder while being far more efficient than Trae Young. Although Young’s run is definitely worth a second look and has caught the attention of many, Doncic still remains a heavy favorite to win the hardware.
The Atlanta Hawks will have a very high pick in this upcoming NBA draft. They will likely target a player that would fit well next to Trae Young. Outside of Trae, the Hawks lack ball handlers and shot creators. Because of that, defenses are able to just key in and load up on Trae which makes life harder for him. If the Hawks can pair Trae Young with another ball handler and shot creator than he could reach his full potential! We also can’t forget about John Collins, who through 46 games this season is averaging 19 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 57% from the floor and 38% from three in just 30 minutes per game! Collins, Young, and the Hawks 2019 first pick could be a dominant big three for years to come.
The future is looking very bright in Dallas, and that is in large part thanks to Luka Doncic. Quietly, the Mavericks have become a very appealing destination for free agents. We all know about Luka, but there are other factors that can’t be ignored! The Mavericks recently traded for Kristaps Porzingis, who is just 23 years old and could be a future star. Also, Dallas is a big market, which is very appealing to NBA players. Additionally, the Mavericks have Marc Cuban and Rick Carlisle. Cuban is one of the league’s premier owners and Carlisle is a very good coach.
DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 15: Trae Young (11) of the Atlanta Hawks drives on Trey Lyles (7) of the Denver Nuggets and Malik Beasley (25) during the second half on Thursday, November 15, 2018. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Atlanta Hawks at the Pepsi Center. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)